The American Red Cross Is Homophobic

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Gingy

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The Red Cross was at my school today, taking blood. I can't donate any because of some medication that I take, and the sheer fear of needles beneath my skin, but a friend and I were looking at the survey you have to fill out before you can donate any blood.

The thing that struck us was a checkbox that said "I am a man, and have engaged in sexual intercourse with another man." Aparently they won't take your blood if you check this box...

They obviously think everyone that has gay sex had AIDS... I can't see how they would be so stereotypical... Even protected sex qualifies. (one of my friends asked...)

Of course they test your blood for impurities now before it's used.... Do they? If not they should....

What do you think of this?
 

NikonFilmPhotog

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I have researched this at great lengths and it's not the Red Cross that is making that stipulation. It's the FDA. I first thought it sucked and it does but I'm okay with a bank that I can make all of the withdrawls I want and not make any deposits.

The other messed up thing is that it is only male male contact not female female - go figure.
 

satyrical

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Canadian Blood Services has the exact same policy, for reasons that baffle me. Their (poor) reasoning behind it is that HIV and AIDS are transmitted in an increased amount through the gay community, and because they can't be 100% sure of their screening tests for diseases in the blood, they just find it safer to reject any man who's ever done a man.
 

LittleMonster

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I have researched this at great lengths and it's not the Red Cross that is making that stipulation. It's the FDA. I first thought it sucked and it does but I'm okay with a bank that I can make all of the withdrawls I want and not make any deposits.

The other messed up thing is that it is only male male contact not female female - go figure.

They don't say anything about female-female because there is no penetration.

And anyway, they don't let you give if you've had sex for money either. They're just protecting themselves, they're not homophobic.
 

NikonFilmPhotog

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They don't say anything about female-female because there is no penetration.

And anyway, they don't let you give if you've had sex for money either. They're just protecting themselves, they're not homophobic.

I'm not saying that they are homophobic, it would reason that anyone that has participated in receptive sex shouldn't be a donor, the tests may miss a non-gay donor that has HIV/AIDS.
 
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Mako

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Last I checked the largest minority with the highest percentage of HIV infection was now african americans. But there would be hell to pay if they had a check box for being african american. And as Nikon pointed out, it's just as likely they could miss the screening through any other person. This assumption enforces a negative and untrue stereotype. It is homophobic, even if not intentionally so.
 
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Mitsukuni

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It's simply protection to make sure they don't have any bad blood, no matter how homophobic or stereotypical it seems. Though all blood goes through screening, there's still that chance of a one-in-a-millionth fluke, and the Red Cross does not want that to happen, because they're afraid of what would happen if someone decided to sue them. Plus, it would give them a bad name. Unfortunately, that means being racist, homophobic, etc...whatever it takes to protect their name. I might not be right on this, but it's my opinion.
Though, I think that it would be their fault that the bad blood went through and was used; No one else's but their own for being wrong. But if they think that doing this will help reduce this chance...then it sucks, but it has to happen if they say so.
 

Puppyluvs

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I believe they have the same policy here in New Zealand; it must be a fairly common restriction in a lot of countries?

It does seem pretty stupid, especially since I still wouldn't be allowed to give blood even if I had a STD/STI check first.
 
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Mako

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It's simply protection to make sure they don't have any bad blood, no matter how homophobic or stereotypical it seems. Though all blood goes through screening, there's still that chance of a one-in-a-millionth fluke, and the Red Cross does not want that to happen, because they're afraid of what would happen if someone decided to sue them. Plus, it would give them a bad name. Unfortunately, that means being racist, homophobic, etc...whatever it takes to protect their name. I might not be right on this, but it's my opinion.
Though, I think that it would be their fault that the bad blood went through and was used; No one else's but their own for being wrong. But if they think that doing this will help reduce this chance...then it sucks, but it has to happen if they say so.
Their screening process is no more likely to miss homosexuals then it is heterosexuals. It doesn't increase the safety when the flaw is their screening.
 

dinorider

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The same thing applies in Sweden. It's a stupid rule, but probably more rooted in general prejudice than actual homophobia.
 

hiddy1991

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Well I think I am bi, and I have never done anything with a guy or a girl :/ And for the record, I do not have HIV/AIDS. Hah So basically, it is a "Hi I want to help someone in need of blood." "Well do you like p33n?" "yeah sorta" "Then go away."
 
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It's just one of the many, many ways that gays are treated with prejudice
 

Shukkume

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All I can say is: Really, world?

A girl can get HIV from a guy. Does that mean only virgins should be able to donate? Really, they're missing out on a lot of good blood by being prejudice, even if it is for safety's sake.
 

willnotwill

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Yes, NOBODY will take blood if you claim to have had homosexual sex. Our local hospital (not affiliated with the Red Cross) won't either. Doesn't matter if you've been in an exclusive monogamous relationship for 20 years or the fact that PCA testing pretty much increases the detectability.

I trip the questions designed for the very real prion (CJS, mad cow, etc...) issues that can not be tested for as I was a civilian employee of the Army and evidentally the chances are that if you were stationed in Europe, you got a good chance of getting BSE tainted food.
 

Chillhouse

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All I can say is: Really, world?

A girl can get HIV from a guy. Does that mean only virgins should be able to donate? Really, they're missing out on a lot of good blood by being prejudice, even if it is for safety's sake.
And even virgins can get HIV too from other sources such as an open wound. So that means that the red cross shouldn't be accepting ANYONE for blood.
 

Charlie

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Add the UK to the list of countries that don't allow gays to donate.
Hey, that sounds like a wiki article!
*Searches*
MSM blood donor controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On the one hand, it seems homophobic and wrong, but on the other: all these countries don't allow it?
I mean I understand the US, and even the UK banning it... but Sweden, Germany... really?

It does mean that if I get stopped by one of those people looking for blood donors I can shout "I'm bi, you b*stard!" as an excuse not to give. :p
Actually, I'm quite nice so would probably give blood... I wonder how strict the 'sexual activity' is.

Meh, I don't have any strong feelings about having my 'right' to give blood denied. Although I do get a bit cross when they bleat on TV about not havig enough people giving blood.
 

Thallis

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I was complaining about this the other day. Stupid policy is stupid. Whenever the Red Cross comes, I joke about not donating because I've had sex with a guy, leading to some odd looks from my peers. :p
 

Mesmerale

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Guys, it's a stupid rule that needs to be altered, that's true..

But it makes sense in a twisted way.

The heterosexual community has the potential to interact with the entire world, theoretically.

The homosexual male community cuts that number in half. Statistically, there will be a higher percentage of those with HIV/AIDS in the community that has less people available to interact with.

Is it really going to make a major difference? No. But that's why I said it needs to be reworked. My explanation is simply my reasoning as to why it's in place at all.
 
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Last I checked the largest minority with the highest percentage of HIV infection was now african americans. But there would be hell to pay if they had a check box for being african american. And as Nikon pointed out, it's just as likely they could miss the screening through any other person. This assumption enforces a negative and untrue stereotype. It is homophobic, even if not intentionally so.

Indeed. And, yes, the gays do not have a lobbying group NEARLY as strong as the NAACP, Rainbow Coalition, and so forth. Meaning that logic and statistics go out the window, because the race card is a very strong one to play in the USA, and trumps reason.

And this, in turn, hurts the cause, but that's well beyond the scope of this discussion.

It's simply protection to make sure they don't have any bad blood, no matter how homophobic or stereotypical it seems. Though all blood goes through screening, there's still that chance of a one-in-a-millionth fluke, and the Red Cross does not want that to happen, because they're afraid of what would happen if someone decided to sue them. Plus, it would give them a bad name. Unfortunately, that means being racist, homophobic, etc...whatever it takes to protect their name. I might not be right on this, but it's my opinion.
Though, I think that it would be their fault that the bad blood went through and was used; No one else's but their own for being wrong. But if they think that doing this will help reduce this chance...then it sucks, but it has to happen if they say so.

Let us think about this for a moment.

I would support gays who have penetrated or been penetrated by another man giving blood.

Indeed, I would support HIV-positive people giving blood.

Now comes the footwork of the explanation: as we don't test for HIV status when someone is bleeding out, we have two options: (a) we ask/test and then let them die from blood loss if they are HIV-positive. (b) We ask/test and give everyone blood that has been screened for HIV, hepatitis, and so forth.

As (a) would cause direct harm, we will do (b)--give all people quality blood. This in turn creates a drain on this limited supply. So. If HIV-positive people want to give blood, they should be allowed to contributed to a bank that is kept apart from the general blood pool. If you're HIV-positive and dying, receiving HIV-positive blood is better than running the risk of receiving no blood at all.

Ultimately, aside from keeping another blood pool, QUALITY screening is needed. And this requires additional logistics and testing/re-testing blood immediately, 6 months out, and one year out before it may be used. What the ARC has chosen to do instead is believe that everyone will be honest and answer truthfully a question that only very peripherally (if at all) gets at what is required. In short, they have decided to forgo more rigorous screening and instead err on the side of caution--but using the wrong instrument.

Much shorter answer: Yes, it's stupid, and I've said so here before. Their instrument isn't asking what they think it is asking, and is instead asking something that is actually statistically more improbable than other questions they could ask.

Much, much shorter answer: If I'm bleeding to death, I want blood. I can figure other stuff out later, but if I die on the street/table, that option is removed.
 

NikonFilmPhotog

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What the ARC has chosen to do instead is believe that everyone will be honest and answer truthfully a question that only very peripherally gets at what is required. In short, they have decided to forgo more rigorous screening and instead err on the side of caution--but using the wrong instrument.

This is not an American Red Cross requirement. This comes down from the Food And Drug Administration not the American Red Cross or any other blood bank/collector.

I would donate but I fit the FDA criteria for exclusion and I'm not going to lie.
 
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